There’s good news for fans and sports betting advocates in Virginia. The Virginia Lottery (VLhe) will soon usher in sports betting. The VL will regulate and be in charge of sports betting in the state. According to new reporting from the Shore Daily News in Falls Church, Virginia, the VL will be processing sports betting licenses on Monday, January 4, 2021.
This has been a long-fought battle with several months of back and forth between the legislative bodies in the state. Gaming experts that were called upon by state lawmakers to provide data on the new industry, gave their predictions. Those experts predict that once sports betting is up and running in the Old Dominion State, $410 million will be spent by Virginia residents in 2021.
The new year has Virginians very excited for the new arm of gaming in the state. VL officials are saying that everything will be launched well ahead of the Super Bowl, which takes place in Tampa, Florida, on February 7, 2021.
Sports Betting Will Bring In Much Needed Revenues
Virginia lawmakers legalized sports betting in the state in early 2020; the last several months were spent hammering out rules and regulations for sports betting by the VL. A VL official said last week that part of the delay in launching is due in part to COVID-19.
People had to work remotely, and gaming sites could be inspected, which is necessary for all physical locations before they can get a license. Locations such as casinos have been shuttered on and off through most of 2020. The virus is still raging out of control through most of the country.
However, VL officials said the ‘virus would have no impact on online sports betting. The officials said online sports betting in the state would be up and running before sports betting at brick and mortar locations.
The director of the VL, Kevin Hall, gave an update about the state of affairs when it comes to the sports betting process. Hall indicated that the VL had received over two dozen applications for sports betting licenses. According to the laws set forth by the Virginia House, there can not be more than 12 sports betting licensees operating in the state.
Major Sportsbooks Are Expected In Virginia
According to a source with the VL, sportsbook giants DraftKings, BetRivers, and FanDuel have all submitted their applications for sports betting licenses. The VL also indicated that there are expected to be more physical locations where Virginia players can place their bets.
Several not yet built casinos have also applied for sports betting licenses. Some of the casinos have broken ground and are expected to be completed mid 2021. In April of 2020, at the height of COVID-19, lawmakers met in tents outside of the capitol building in Richmond to look over amendments to the sports betting bill by Gov. Ralph Northam.
The lawmakers accepted the changes Northam made, and the sports betting bill was signed into law. One of the sponsors of the bill State Rep Mark Sickles, said in April, ‘if lawmakers agreed on the bill before the Northam changes, they should vote yes on the bill now.’ The majority of lawmakers did just that and voted the amended bill into law.